When is 14 days not 14 days?

Jilea0
Level 2
Katoomba, Australia

When is 14 days not 14 days?

I have sent Airbnb an email this morning detailing their utterly confusing review timeline policy. I've adapted it below for this forum and would welcome any helpful suggestions. If you're in the situation of having to leave a bad review for a guest and want to leave it till the very last minute to avoid retaliation, BEWARE! Airbnb's sense of time is not the same as a host's sense of time.
 
So ........
I feel I have been thoroughly mucked around by Airbnb, with a capital F!
 
A host has the reasonable understanding, I believe that there is 14 days to review a guest AFTER checkout and vice versa.
 
See below, from the Airbnb help centre:
 
Can I write a review after the 14-day review period has ended?

No. Once your reservation ends, you have 14 days to write a review.

 

Anyone would REASONABLY assume that that is 14 days after CHECKOUT.

 

However, I received an email on 5 April telling me I had until 18 April to review X who checked out on 3 April. That’s 15 days - and we're in the same time zone. So I called the call centre to clarify. No, I was told I had until the 17th, to ignore the email, the review period is in fact 14 days - up to 12pm on Sunday 17 April.

 

As this was ONLY the second time in 6 years I have had cause to leave a bad review, it was important that I do it to warn hosts of a dishonest guest who left without paying an agreed amount of money. I knew I risked a bad review in retaliation for going through the resolution centre and pursuing the money, so I waited until the last minute to leave my review. When it did not appear on X’s profile page, and it is now the 19th of April, I called again to find out why. 

 

However, before calling, in the belief that the review period was over and that I could safely go to the Resolution Centre and request the $90 X owes for bringing three extra friends, I went ahead and submitted my resolution request. Low and behold I was told that although MY time to review X is over, she in fact has an extra 24 hours from midnight last night and has until 12pm tonight to leave me a review (that's 48 hours extra time in total from 17 April, the deadline they gave me). It all depends, it appears on when Airbnb sent both of us the first review reminder email. In my case the first one was on 5 April giving me 14 days after that and in her case, 7 April, giving her an advantage of 48 hours, unbenownst to me.

 

X will now have received both an email saying I have left her a review and an email alerting her to the fact that I am chasing the $90 she owes me through the Resolution Centre.  She is highly likely to know that my review of her won’t be positive. And she has extra time to leave me a review that I didn’t have and more importantly, that I didn't know about. We both know what will happen here, don’t we? X now has an EXTRA window of 12 hours and 50 minutes from now to review me. That luxury was not available to me. I was given the wrong advice TWICE - once by email (that the review period ended on 18 April and once by the call centre, that the review period ended on 17 April.

 
The review period should be the same for both hosts and guests and should be as it is stated: 14 DAYS.
 
I have asked Airbnb to explain to me why:
 
The help section says we have 14 days to leave a review for each other.
I received an email saying it was 15 days.
The call centre told me that was wrong, it was 14 days.
But in fact, the guest has 16 days.
 
This has totally exposed me to a retaliatory review - I'm biting my fingernails till midnight tonight. Airbnb's helpful call centre person simply said I had the right to reply. I think this goes a little further than that when Airbnb has so royally stuffed me as a host, about and given me very misleading information which has exposed me to a bad review which I do not deserve.
 
Airbnb says if a review isn’t accurate, it can be removed. Well it’s likely X’s review will be along the lines of: Horrible place, awful host, demanding extra money. How do I prove the accuracy or inaccuracy of that?
 
So I'm at risk of receiving a negative review purely as a result of this absolutely shambolic process, the inaccurate information I was given and the unfairness of giving a guest 48 hours extra to leave a review that a host doesn’t have.
  
WTF?
 
11 Replies 11
Jim-and-Sue1
Level 1
Black Mountain, NC

We totally agree with the initial post. As Superhosts who provide a proven, 5 star + experience to our guests, and charge an extremely competitive rate, it is disheartening to think that there’s an opportunity for a horrible guest to have the final say in the evidence process. Awesome hosts/properties have put MUCH MORE on the line than guests. I invite Airbnb to argue this point.

Mick-And-Briyith0
Level 2
Bogota, Colombia

We are in the same position. A Guest who committed MULTIPLE violations caught on camera and disconnected the security cameras to hide his activities the last 2 nights. We have received the prompts of 2 days left to review. I believe that the clock stops at 11 am on the 14 th day. 

Kathy305
Level 2
United States

Jilea. 

     You wouldn't think knowing the exact "end time" on giving a reveiw would be that hard.  Like you, I'd rather not prompt some Guests to leave a review,  & prefer to wait till the last 5 minutes.  The info I got from Air Customer Services was wrong twice & I missed the window & was unable to leave a Review. 

     One Host said there is a "count down" within the App stating your have "X# Hours/Minutes to leave a review".   I unable to find it.  Any tips appreciated.  

Kathy Holdway

Dragonhead Retreat, TX

 

Christine1
Level 10
Glenbrook, Australia

@Jilea0, I agree with the advice from @Dave-and-Deb0, just review with honesty and discretion and according to the Airbnb guidelines.

In the case of extra guests or charges, it is not automatically necessary to go through the Resolution Centre late in someone's stay. Instead,it is always possible to incorporate tariff adjustments during a guest stay by initiating an alteration to the booking. This can be done by the host or by the guest. The alteration request then gets forwarded to the other party and the matter is dealt with in a calm, timely fashion.

As for exact timing of reviews, both parties get a few email reminders as well a reminders via your dashboard. You will recieve a "last opportunity to review" reminder with a direct link to the site and advice about when your time to review expires.

As for what may or may not be happening with the guest's review timeline, you are working with an international 3rd party organisation which is operating around the clock in constantly changing time zones. We need to cut Airbnb some slack here, and please stop thinking of reviews as revenge letters.

 

Either leave them a review, or don't. And they will do the same. There's no real need to get so worked up and pedantic about the whole thing. I guess you could pray that for the last so many hours and X amount of minutes that the guest has better things to do with their time and isn't sat worrying about the content of your review and how they are going to retaliate...

Susan1188
Level 10
Marbella, Spain

"There's no real need to get so worked up and pedantic about the whole thing"

 

Dear Lindsey, I understand how it may be hard to understand why hosts get "so worked up" about dishonest bad reviews, unless you have tried hosting yourself?

 

Hosting is very rewarding but it is also hard work, and being confronted with new legal fiscal and community obligations makes it even harder.

 

The Airbnb system puts a huge amount of pressure on hosts to accomodate all kinds of things from guests, and has put a very effective psychological system in place with not only the review system, but also the superhost system.  Your listing will appear lower in the search results and you will get less bookings, if you get penalized and your superhost removed.  That can happen if anyone gives you a less-than-5-star review.

 

This makes for a huge amount of distress, sleepless nights, and anxiety among hosts.  Most of whom I know are entirely honest and totally trying their very best to provide outstanding service, only to be confronted with one dishonest guest out of 100 who's negative comments and rating leave a permanent stain on your record. 

 

I understand from a guest point of view, you can say "what's the big deal it's just a review".  But the system Airbnb has put in place means it's much more to that than the hosts providing the service on this platform.

 

In fact, your comment shows a little bit one of the asymetries of the whole system.  The review process is just not that big a deal for guests, but it is a huge deal for the host, with an impact on his occupancy rate and thus his  livelihood!

Gabriella40
Level 4
Portland, OR

I’m copying and pasting for anyone interested an old blog page I have printed out for guests, leaving it  in a notebook where the wifi code, check out instructions and FAQ are kept.  In addition, I offer guests 1/2 to all of their cleaning fee back if they follow all of the blogs suggestions.  

A FIVE STAR GUEST:

 


LOOKING FOR 5 STARS?

 


Follow these Airbnb recommendations to achieve you goal!

 


Airbnb Blogg, 2015'

 

5-Star Clean is to leave it as you found it with the exception of soiled laundry.


a. Tidy up, put everything back in its original place, put dishes and flatware away clean, wipe up messes and wipe down surfaces.


b. Leave nothing broken, lost or damaged that you didn't report to your host before checking out.

 

Cleaning fees are for the task of doing laundry, vacuuming, and sanitizing, not for cleaning up after guests personal messes. Remember, you are a guest in someone's home, it's not a hotel.  Treat your host with the courtesy and respect you would/should treat a relative or friend.

 

5-Star communication means not only responding quickly and politely.

 

a. It's equally important that you inform your host of anything that isn't working or needs repair. They will want to fix it!!

 

b. In addition, good communication means letting your host know directly if you have a grievance, complaint or concern. Communicating your grievance directly to the host is good manners, only they can fix, or remedy your disappointment or needs.

 

c. If you don't have the courage to let your host know you have an issue, don't be the jerk who complains in your review.  If you did tell them and they fixed it, don't be passive aggressive either. It makes you look bad, not the host, an experienced guest can read between the lines when reading reviews.

 

d. Being a good communicator can also include telling your host what you liked or enjoyed about your stay, showing appreciation for your host is simply 'good manners'. Not everyone is hosting for the money, they want to make you comfortable and feel welcome in their home.  For many hosts, kind words of appreciation exceed any monatary rewards

 

5-Star rule followers are aware of the rules and follow all of them.  Your host will let you know in your review if you didn't follow the rules.

 

a. Read the listing Description before making the reservation.

 

b. Be on time for check-in and alway leave the premises at the noted check out time.  

 

c. Never linger on the property as the host will probably need to get the home ready for the next guest.

 

d. Follow up with a thank you note after checking out.  Treat your host and their home as you would like to be treated. 

Susan1188
Level 10
Marbella, Spain

One small way I contribute to guest educaiton is to call them out systematically for anything on their profile:
- never leave a review? I tell them we need guest reviews why did your prior host not earn your review
- got a neutral or bad comment or star?  I call them out and ask about it

Point is to let them know that reviews count so they should care about the review I am going to leave them.

 

Gabriella40
Level 4
Portland, OR

So well said, thank you.  

 

Some of us bend over backwards to provide guests with a 5 star experience and in the end guests are looking for something to complain about, never saying thank you for the bottle of wine or the cold local beer in the fridge.  

 

I have become cynical in the past few years with the change in Airbnb from a “Home Share Community” to people looking for a cheap place to occupy. 

 

Guest feel entitled to a 5 star experience for the cost of a 3 Star motel.  They treat us poorly and assume we work for them.  

Im tired of this and intend to call guests out in my reviews.  Before Covid I had 1 in 10 bad experiences. With the change in guests profile, being primarily from the US, I have 6 in 10 rude, entitled, disrespectful guests.   


I  believe hosts owe it to one another to be honest with our reviews so the culture changes and guests realize bad behavior isn’t rewarded with 5 stars.  

 

 

Dave-and-Deb0
Level 10
Edmonton, Canada

Just review the guest @Jilea0.  The guest is either going to review you or not.  It is pretty hard to time.  This is what I received from Airbnb when I tried to time a review.  "Let's say the guest checks out at UTC 15:00 8th March. The system is set to send the review at the end of the day UTC 00:00 9th March. As such, the 14 days will start on the 9th of March. However, at times there may be a slight delay, we will review the review submission on a case by case basis."

 

Susan1188
Level 10
Marbella, Spain

Dear Dave & Deb, I highly disagree with your statement: " The guest is either going to review you or not."

 

When things go badly with a dishonest or inconsiderate guest, in general, the guest knows it too.

 

When they get the message from airbnb saying the host has left a review, it's a call to action for them.

 

They realise  that you are not going to be heaping praise on them.  Therefore if they see you have posted a review, they will be stimulated to write one too - offensive is the best defensive - and most likely an attack because they know what they did or tried to do.

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